AP NEWS

Cal Fire helicopter crew honored for climber rescue

September 11, 2018

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) — A Cal Fire helicopter crew has been honored for carrying out a difficult rescue of an injured climber on towering Mount San Jacinto.

George Karcher, David Rodriguez, Donald Kowalski and Nathan Carrion received the California State Firefighters Association’s Medal of Valor last week in a ceremony in Rancho Mirage.

On Sept. 6, 2017, Cal Fire Riverside helicopter 901 responded to a report of a badly injured climber in the popular Lily Rock climbing area.

A rock slide left the climber hanging upside down in his rope rigging in a crevice on a sheer rock face at an elevation of 8,800 feet (2,682 meters).

Carrion was lowered to the climber, strapped him into a rescue device and cut away his tangled ropes. The two were then hoisted into the helicopter.

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